Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Remembering musicians of the recent past
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rajeshnat
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#1 Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by rajeshnat » 18 Sep 2018, 12:31

It is with deep sadness that I have to inform all of you that noted carnatic patron and caterer Arusuvai Natarajan passed away . This was mentioned in The Hindu on Sept 18,2018. The obituary with his Photo mentions that he was born in 1924 and passed away in 2018, that is 94 years .

Rajesh Personal Recollection
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# For many years there were quite a few family marriages and many that Ihave attended . HIs arusuvai team as a caterer took up few contracts say 3 or 4 years before for many years ,people enjoyed him as a caterer which was his profession. This point is nothing personal as all of you may know this.

# For me my association started sometime in 2004 till 2009 or so .He rented a kalyana mantapam near Dasaprakash Hotel off poonamallee high road . In those years the most frequent concerts in non sabha season was perhaps tied up with may be NGS Mini Hall, Ragasudha and his sabha(kalakruthi which he helped ) in egmore .

# I must have attended atleast 15 to 20 concerts in that hall near Dasaprakash in egmore . The hall will have a capacity of 900 or 1000 with chairs but there will be always 10 to 70 people max. He has a very peculiar way to attend concerts . He was atleast 80 plus he will never sit and hear the concert he will most likely stand in the last row.He used to say that is the way I would like to serve the artist. Very very honest , i used to mistake him as bit of antha kAlathu vEtti Tanjore Bandha for few years, but definitely he was not of that type.

# His anecdotes were kind of non musical most of the times. I recollect once he said where he told he and Maharajapuram Vishwanatha Iyer had some secret handshake . When vishwanatha Iyer removes unties and ties his kudumi he will get the signal and he will rush with Hot Hot Bondas and meduvadais to the stage in his antakalathu Trichy or Kumbakonam

# I think in kalakruthi in which ever year when Vellore ramabadran mama was honoured with Sangeetha kalanidhi. THat day inaugural concert was done by Neyveli Santhanagopalan . There was just 20 to 30 people , Vellore Ramabadran was honoured with big Garland that day vellore ramabadran was Like MGR to me. I have not seen or heard vellore ramabadran sir ever speaking but he spoke so well with Arusuvai Natarajan

# Personally I think he adores madurai somu a lot . When he recollects madurai somu he will not stop shedding few tears . I am not sure who was his favourite

# He will keep hot coffee in his dasaprakash sabha and will serve to all of us , he will welcome all artists and walk and receive them in the car or whatever. He invites very very unknown artist ,once he invited one set of sisters from nanganallur, the rare rAgam sisters who are still singing occasionally. Sheer love and service to Carnatic music without getting to any kind of headstrong behaviour, he was always dressed in white , he nurtured with care his dear carnatic music

# I know many musicians some names that I have mentioned above may know far more than myself . I wish his family takes up the same patronage forward ,i know his son who has taken the caterering business , but I am not sure if Love of CM has percolated that deep with next generation like what Arusuvai Nataraja iyer had .

# Sad loss KS venkatarman- MFAC,Nadopasana- Srinivasan, Safe-Ramabadran , skgs-yagnaraman,naadainbam-svk,NGS- Krishaswamy,Hamsadhwani-Ramachandran, Pozhichalur-Krishnamurthy and now Arusuvai Natarajan with his home grown sabha. They are the real karana karthas to give the tag Chennai as Mecca of CM.

# I have not seen antha kAlathu Ananda Lodge Tanjore Kittappa. Based on anecdotes of kittappa patronage was with stars like GNB or SSI. I think may be Arusuvai Natarajan was the best vArisu of antha kALathu AnandA Lodge KittappA. Condolences to family members of Arusuvai Arasu Dr Nataraja Iyer(I think some university also honoured him the doctorate degree) .
Last edited by rajeshnat on 19 Sep 2018, 07:39, edited 3 times in total.
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rajeshnat
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#2 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by rajeshnat » 18 Sep 2018, 12:34

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arasi
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#3 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by arasi » 18 Sep 2018, 18:50

Condolences to the family. May they walk in the footsteps of their father/grandfather.
Rajesh,
Strange. There is no mention of his connection with music at all, in the Hindu report!
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rajeshnat
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#4 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by rajeshnat » 19 Sep 2018, 09:02

arasi wrote:
18 Sep 2018, 18:50

Strange. There is no mention of his connection with music at all, in the Hindu report!
Arasi
1 million would know shri natarajan as only a marriage caterer.

100,000 would know that his catering is/was also atteched to academy and ngs and partha during december season. Harimau knows more on that.

In his middle age days he has done lot of kaingaryam especialli in antha kalathu tanjore jilla belt.

May be only 1000 know that he was the patron of egmore sabha in years 2000 plus. Egmore sabha was very famous that kalakruthi sabha lady patron father or grandfather has invited ariyakudi. Personally for rajeshnat what value he added was he kept concerts even in non sabha season during sabha season he has atleast 2 week festival. Many days especially working days it takes a lot of traffic snarls to reach mylapore. Egmore and chetpet was customized specially for me and my home.

Vidwans and vidushis
Please do write any remarkable experience. I am 100 percent sure he has touched each of u as deep as say ngs krihnaswamy etal
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shankarank
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#5 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by shankarank » 19 Sep 2018, 09:55

Heart felt Condolences. Anna dhaata atma Santih! Had a taste of his menu in PSS Sabha once. A trade union leader who was a congress politician and a candidate, never ate outside in his life, except at his own daughter's wedding after the fervent plea of Arusuvai!
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cienu
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#6 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by cienu » 19 Sep 2018, 10:04

Heartfelt condolences to the one and only Arusuvai Sri Natarajan. A man who rose to the top from very humble origins due to sheer hard work and diligence.
A man who was blessed by no less than the Paramacharya of Kanchi.
May his soul rest in peace
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thanjavooran
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#7 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by thanjavooran » 19 Sep 2018, 16:39

Arusuvai Natarajan is no more.
Long live Arusuvai.
Condolences to his family members.
His service to CM is immense In par with Ananda lodge Gopalsami iyer and his son Kittappa whose participation in conducting concerts in the Goods yard of Thanjavur Junction for the Railway Pillaiyar celebrations in early fifties.

He was a King among Caterers.
He ruled the Chennai Catering World for nearly 7 decades
without a rival.

I lost count of the Marriages I attended in Chennai
where he with his mastery had satisfied my impressionable palate.
His varied cuisine engaged the mind more than the palate.
My taste buds still remember the flavours of the items served
at the marriage of a Big Industrialist's daughter,
which was the talk of the town.

The Chellappas, the Vinayagas, the Mookambikas,
the Gnanambikas and other Ambikas, ruling the roost today,
cannot hold a candle before Arusuvai.
RIP

My palate salutes him.
Undi Koduthor Uyir Koduthor.

Thanjavooran
19 09 2018
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arasi
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#8 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by arasi » 19 Sep 2018, 18:43

His menu board not only listed items, but added musical adjectives to them! Watching him at work was a treat. A truly dedicated culinary star...
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Ponbhairavi
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#9 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by Ponbhairavi » 19 Sep 2018, 20:03

Culinary tradition is as much an important cultural component as musical tradition in any civilization
They deserve better recognition in the success of the music season. Mouth acts as a an organ of karmendhiriyam for the sustenance of life and a gnanendhiriyam for the peace of the soul through divine music. ( not propaganda or social music )

Thiruvalluvar’s yAkAvArAyinum nA kAkka applies also as a caution for what we eat,

யாகாவாராயினும் நா காக்க-காவாக்கால்
சோ காப்பர் (medical ) பில் இழுக்கு பட்டு




Our respects to the Arusuvai provider Natarajan’s long service
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Ponbhairavi
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#10 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by Ponbhairavi » 19 Sep 2018, 21:18

Pl see my fictional write up about a Samayal Kalanidhi award for a deserving cook under post no 96 inthe thread in my name under the heading Critics and rasikas. Humour apart, there is a valid case for instituting an award for a deserving caterer, in due recognition of his services as an adjunct to a music sabha.
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#11 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 20 Sep 2018, 04:07

One of the great Chefs and connoisseur of music. He has been a staple in our family weddings--as recently in June 2018.Attention to detail, highest hygiene standards no matter how large the attendance, benevolent leadership--strict but no show-off--were qualities he exuded .His family have imbibed his values and principles-a tribute to his legacy.

Condolences to the family.
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parivadini
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#12 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by parivadini » 20 Sep 2018, 15:14

Rajesh: Was the Hall in Gengu Reddy Street? (A street that PSP lived in when he moved to Madras and had initially hosted Alathur Brothers when they were on the rise!). There is a Kalyana Mantapam - Ananda Bhooshanam Kalyana Mantapam - owned by Arusuvai Arasu in that street that is close to Dasprakash. I know that well as my marriage was in that hall.

The caterer for my wedding was not Arusuvai.

But on the day after my marriage I had a chance to meet him. We were supposed to leave the hall by noon and another set of people were to occupy it for the wedding that was scheduled the following day. Arusuvai was the caterer for the wedding. He was there in the morning overseeing the preparations for the wedding.

On the day of my wedding, we had to shuttle between the register offices and to my house in Perambur and my in-laws house in nanganallur for the grahapravesam. By the time we reached the hall again there was only a little time left to freshen up for the reception. Hence we had to skip the traditional nalungu.

A few in the family wanted to have it the next day and we had to oblige. There was some singing and my brother had brought in his mridangam as well for accompanying a few songs. Towards the end of the function we noticed Shri. Natarajan slowly move away from the room. We didn't realise he was present during the function and was listening to the songs. My father spotted him and thanked him for being there and wanted him to bless us.

He had some nice things to say about my brother's playing and even requested him to play a thani avartanam. After patiently listening he blessed him again and even suggested that if we would stay back he could request Mambalam Siva (the nagaswara vidwan for the wedding Shri. Natarajan was catering to) to allow my brother to accompany him for a few songs. We politely refused and thanked him again.

He then inquired who were the caterers for our wedding and when we mentioned the name, he remarked, "Besh Besh! appo romba nannaa irundhu irukkum". There was sincerity in his comment. What he said after that was something that floored me. In all humility he said, "naanum indha thozil la irukken. neenga vandhu tiffen saaptu paarthuttu eppadi irukku'nu sollanum". When we tried to refuse, he wouldn't budge. He compelled us to go with him and he personally took care of serving us a sumptuous serving. It is one thing to reach the top. Remaining humble despite reaching the heights is a totally different things. That is the stuff that separates legends from greats.

Never knew that he ran a Sabha. I wish I had attended some of the concerts he organised. I had the fortune of meeting SHri. Kittappa several times and listening to his experiences as a close associate to several musicians. I wish I had done a chance to that with Shri. Natarajan as well.

In the 1990s every weeks of Kumudam magazine was prepared by a celebrity. I vividly remember that an issue was prepared by Shri. Natarajan. I wasn't even a teenager then, yet it did make a lasting impact on me.
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rajeshnat
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#13 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by rajeshnat » 20 Sep 2018, 22:28

parivadini wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 15:14
Rajesh: Was the Hall in Gengu Reddy Street? (A street that PSP lived in when he moved to Madras and had initially hosted Alathur Brothers when they were on the rise!). There is a Kalyana Mantapam - Ananda Bhooshanam Kalyana Mantapam - owned by Arusuvai Arasu in that street that is close to Dasprakash. I know that well as my marriage was in that hall.

...
Never knew that he ran a Sabha. I wish I had attended some of the concerts he organised. I had the fortune of meeting SHri. Kittappa several times and listening to his experiences as a close associate to several musicians. I wish I had done a chance to that with Shri. Natarajan as well.
Lalitharam
Indeed the hall is ananda bhooshanam kalyana mantapam ,the road is one parallel to Gengu Reddy subway road . This hall is in a smaller street, if my memory is right varadarajulu street or something . The street ends with a small foot overbridge across the railway tracks to land in the other side the egmore halls road side.

He was a patron of kalakruthi in giving the hall free for many years. The sabha was run by kalakruthi sabha.
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rajeshnat
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#14 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by rajeshnat » 21 Sep 2018, 14:06

I did a small search with my name and arusuvai in kutcheri reviews
# I get four links of maharajapuram ramachandran, suryaprakash, kudanthai sisters and neyveli santhanagopalan concert- all in 2005/2008 egmore ananda bhooshanam kalyana mantapam . Brief mention about this great man arusuvai natarajan is there, then post that timeframe the sabha kalakruthi struggled for a venue , had a brief hall near egmore hospital and then jayendra saraswati bailed out by giving sankaralayam for free in chetpet

Neyveli [email protected](Egmore) on Dec 16,2006
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1725&hilit=arusuvai

kudanthai [email protected](Egmore) on Feb 23rd ,2008
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4925&hilit=arusuvai


R SuryaprAkash @kalAkruthi(Egmore) on Oct 15th,2006
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1292&hilit=arusuvai

Maharajapuram [email protected] on 23 July 2005
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=528&hilit=arusuvai
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MaheshS
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#15 Re: Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan

Post by MaheshS » 29 Sep 2018, 00:02

This is a fascinating interview / talk on his experiences with Maha Periyava.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk3OJF1 ... f2bN6XWPyU

Did not know that generations of his family were the official cooks of the Kanchi matam. Wow. A brilliant watch. In two places he mentions music related personalities, one with Ariyakudi / Viswanatha Iyer and Semmangudi. One about how MSS tells him to enjoy the words of Maha Periayava! Also tells ho wshe sang Kasi Viswanatha Suprabhatam on the spot. How she donated 15 and a half crores for the mani mandapam in Orikkai.
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